April’s Book Haul

I’ve had a bumper buying month this month, so better make a large cuppa (or three) – this might take a while.

Kindle Books

(Click on image for non-affiliated buying link)

 

The Gustav SonataThe Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

What is the difference between friendship and love?

Gustav grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem a distant echo. But Gustav’s father has mysteriously died, and his adored mother Emilie is strangely cold and indifferent to him. Gustav’s life is a lonely one until he meets Anton. An intense lifelong friendship develops but Anton fails to understand how deeply and irrevocably his life and Gustav’s are entwined until it is almost too late…

 

An Eventful VacationAn Eventful Vacation by Linda Christie

Rosalinda Little, a painter known as ‘Little Rose’ in the art world, is invited to show her work at an exhibition in a fabulous hideaway hotel, the ‘El Pino’ in beautiful Formentor on the island of Mallorca. She decides to make a holiday of it, taking her best friend, Connie, with her. They arrive joyously on a glorious summer day… but soon a series of extraordinary events take place. She is witness to a little boy in distress, only later to find out he has gone missing.

The novel portrays Rosa’s struggle to help find the lost boy, with unexpected and sometimes disastrous consequences. The twists and turns of her quest involve her with a fascinating cast of characters, over a wide range of international settings, from a Mallorcan monastery to an Algerian prison. The dark and complex secrets concealed in the paradise setting of the ‘El Pino’ Hotel take a long time to unravel. Meanwhile, Rosa faces the added dilemma of falling in love with a married man half her age…

 

Dirty Little Secrets 1Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain

Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.

In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people’s lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege – the residents have it all. Life is good.

There’s just one problem.

Olive Collins’ dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months. Her neighbours say they’re shocked at the discovery but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished from sight.

The police start to ask questions and the seemingly flawless facade begins to crack. Because, when it comes to Olive’s neighbours, it seems each of them has something to hide, something to lose and everything to gain from her death.

 

If Only I Could Tell YouIf Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

Audrey’s family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected.

As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other?

 

Two Fridays in AprilTwo Fridays in April by Roisin Meaney

It’s Una Darling’s seventeenth birthday, but nobody feels much like celebrating. It’s been exactly a year since the tragic death of her father Finn, and the people he left behind have been doing their best to get on with things. But it hasn’t been easy.

Daphne is tired of sadness, of mourning the long life she and her husband were meant to share, but doesn’t quite know how to get past it. And she can’t seem to get through to her stepdaughter — they barely speak anymore, so Daphne knows nothing of the unexpected solace Una has found, or of the risk she’s about to take.

When Una fails to appear for a birthday tea with her family, Daphne suddenly realises how large the distance between them has grown. Will she be given the chance to make things right?

 

Mad Blood StirringMad Blood Stirring by Simon Mayo

1815: The war is over but for the inmates at Dartmoor Prison, peace – like home – is still a long way away.

On the eve of the year 1815, the captured sailors of the Eagle arrive at Dartmoor prison; bedraggled, exhausted, sustained only by a rumour heard along the way.

Joe Hill thought he’d left the conflict behind but it is clear there is a different type of battle here. As he announces the news of the end of the war, the guards bristle and the inmates stir. The powder keg was fixed to blow and Joe has just lit the fuse.

Elizabeth Shortland, the Governor’s wife, looks out at the unsettled crowd. The peace means the end is near, that she needn’t be here for ever. But suddenly, she cannot bear the thought of leaving.

 

Changeling (Six Stories Book 3)The Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

A missing child
A family in denial
Six witnesses
Six stories
Which one is true?

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the dark Wentshire Forest Pass, when his father, Sorrel, stopped the car to investigate a mysterious knocking sound. No trace of the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden was declared officially dead in 1995.

Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance, interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. Journeying through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there, he talks to a company that tried and failed to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know what happened to the little boy…

 

Day of the AccidentDay of the Accident by Nuala Ellwood

Sixty seconds after she wakes from a coma, Maggie’s world is torn apart.

The police tell her that her daughter Elspeth is dead. That she drowned when the car Maggie had been driving plunged into the river. Maggie remembers nothing.

When Maggie begs to see her husband Sean, the police tell her that he has disappeared. He was last seen on the day of her daughter’s funeral.

What really happened that day at the river?
Where is Maggie’s husband?
And why can’t she shake the suspicion that somewhere, somehow… her daughter is still alive?

 

The SurvivorsThe Survivors by Kate Furnivall

Directly I saw him, I knew he had to die.’

Germany, 1945. Klara Janowska and her daughter Alicja have walked for weeks to get to Graufeld Displaced Persons camp. In the cramped, dirty, dangerous conditions they, along with 3,200 others, are the lucky ones. They have survived and will do anything to find a way back home.

But when Klara recognises a man in the camp from her past, a deadly game of cat and mouse begins.

He knows exactly what she did during the war to save her daughter.

She knows his real identity.

What will be the price of silence? And will either make it out of the camp alive?

 

Her Best Friend's SecretHer Best Friend’s Secret by Anna Mansell

Your best friend deserves the truth. But it will ruin her life. What would you do?

Now, Emily’s back, with a secret she can’t face. She tries to hide away, take time to heal and make some difficult choices, but she runs into one of her old friends, and soon the four are reunited. Lolly, warm as ever, is a successful physiotherapist, married with kids. Yet smart, strong Amanda, who cherishes her teenage daughter, is alone and seemingly stuck in a dead-end job. And creative Jess is so much quieter than Emily remembers.

The bond is still there, and Emily realises their friendship might keep her together, but there are reasons why the women fell out of touch. Secrets that have lain dormant for decades start to surface, and then one of the women discovers a betrayal so big, it could turn each of their lives upside down.

It’s always those we’re closest to who have the power to tear us apart. Can friendship give Emily and her friends the strength to survive a devastating shock, or are some things unforgivable?

 

Do No HarmDo No Harm by L V Hay

Till death do us part…

After leaving her marriage to jealous, possessive oncologist Maxwell, Lily and her six-year-old son have a second chance at happiness with headteacher Sebastian. Kind but vulnerable, Sebastian is the polar opposite of Maxwell, and the perfect match for Lily. After a whirlwind romance, they marry, and that’s when things start to go wrong…
Maxwell returns to the scene, determined to win back his family, and events soon spiral out of control. Lily and Sebastian find themselves not only fighting for their relationship, but also their lives…
Chilling, dark and terrifying, Do No Harm is a taut psychological thriller and a study of obsession, from one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.

 

Under the Spanish Stars 1Under the Spanish Stars by Alli Sinclair

A life-changing journey, a family secret, a passionate encounter . . .

1945.When Katarina Sanchez is drawn into the world of flamenco, she’s forced to make a decision—comply with her affluent family’s rigid lifestyle or live a life of poverty but enjoy freedom and self-expression. Although Spain is crippled under a dictatorship, Katarina finds love. However, the tragedy of war brings heartbreak. An opportunity to right a past wrong arises, yet it comes at a cost for Katarina—save the lives of many or potentially lose the only man she’s ever loved.

Present day.Charlotte Kavanagh will do anything to fulfill the wishes of her ailing grandmother, even if it means travelling to Spain to uncover the truth behind a mysterious painting. As Charlotte explores Granada’s ancient cobblestone streets, she meets Mateo Vives, a man with a dark past and the only person who can help Charlotte complete her quest. As the secret surrounding the painting deepens, she discovers her grandmother’s connection to the Spanish underground. Weighed down by secrets and betrayals, Charlotte finds herself questioning the true meaning of heritage, family, and love.

 

What Happens in FranceWhat Happens in France by Carol Wyer

“She stood and took her place in front of the camera… It was now or never”

Bryony Masters has been looking for her long-lost sister, Hannah, for years, but when their father has a stroke her search takes on new urgency. So when primetime game show, What Happens in France, puts a call-out for new contestants, Bryony spots the ultimate public platform to find her reality TV-obsessed sister, and finally reunite their family.

With the help of handsome teammate Lewis, it’s not long before she’s on a private jet heading for the stunning beauty of rural France. With a social media star dog, a high maintenance quiz host and a cast of truly unique characters, Bryony and Lewis have their work cut out for them to stay on the show and in the public eye.

Yet as the audience grows and the grand prize beckons they find that the search that brought them together may just fulfil more than one heart’s wish.

 

Missing PiecesMissing Pieces by Laura Pearson

What if the one thing that kept you together was breaking you apart?

All Linda wants to do is sleep. She won’t look at her husband. She can’t stand her daughter. And she doesn’t want to have this baby. Having this baby means moving on, and she just wants to go back to before. Before their family was torn apart, before the blame was placed.

Alienated by their own guilt and struggling to cope, the Sadler family unravels. They grow up, grow apart, never talking about their terrible secret.

That is until Linda’s daughter finds out she’s pregnant. Before she brings another Sadler into the world, Bea needs to know what happened twenty-five years ago. What did they keep from her? What happened that couldn’t be fixed?

A devastating mistake, a lifetime of consequences. How can you repair something broken if pieces are missing?

 

The Forgotten VillageThe Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook

1943: The world is at war, and the villagers of Tyneham are being asked to make one more sacrifice: to give their homes over to the British army. But on the eve of their departure, a terrible act will cause three of them to disappear forever.

2018: Melissa had hoped a break on the coast of Dorset would rekindle her stagnant relationship, but despite the idyllic scenery, it’s pushing her and Liam to the brink. When Melissa discovers a strange photograph of a woman who once lived in the forgotten local village of Tyneham, she becomes determined to find out more about her story. But Tyneham hides a terrible secret, and Melissa’s search for the truth will change her life in ways she never imagined possible.

 

An Unsuitable WomanAn Unsuitable Woman by Kat Gordon

Theo Miller is young, bright and ambitious when he and his earnest younger sister Maud step off the train into the simmering heat of Nairobi. Both eagerly await their new life, yet neither are prepared for the pain it will bring.

When Theo meets American heiress Sylvie de Croÿ, he is welcomed into her inner circle – The Happy Valley Set – rich, dazzling expatriates, infamous for their scandalous lifestyles.

Yet behind Sylvie’s intoxicating allure lies a powerful cocktail
of secrets, lust and betrayal. As dark clouds gather over Kenya’s future and his own, Theo must escape this most unsuitable woman – before it is too late.

 

Collected PoemsCollected Poems by W B Yeats

Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector’s Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector’s Library are books to love and treasure.

All are present in this volume, which reproduces the 1933 edition of W. B. Yeats’s Collected Poems and also contains an illuminating introduction by author and academic Dr Robert Mighall.

As well as being one of the major literary figures of the twentieth century and the recipient of the 1923 Nobel Prize for Literature, William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) is the greatest lyric poet that Ireland has produced. His early work includes the beguiling ‘When You are Old’, ‘The Cloths of Heaven’ and ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’ but, unusually for a poet, Yeats’s later works, including ‘Parnell’s Funeral’, surpass even those of his youth.

 

59 Memory Lane59 Memory Lane by Celia Anderson

May Rosevere has reached the grand old age of one-hundred-and-ten, thanks to several slices of toast with butter every morning, a glass (or two) of port, and the wonders of the Cornish sea air – or so she tells everyone.

But there’s much more to May than her remarkable age. She has a secret. One that no one has ever discovered …

 

Katharina Luther - Nun, Rebel, WifeKatharina Luther by Anne Boileau

On 31st October 1517, Martin Luther pinned ninety-five theses on the Castle Church door, Wittenberg, criticizing the Church of Rome; they were printed and published by Lucas Cranach and caused a storm. Nine young nuns, intoxicated by Luther’s subversive writings, became restless and longed to leave their convent. On Good Friday 1523 a haulier smuggled them out hidden in empty herring barrels. Five of them settled in Wittenberg, the very eye of the storm, and one of them – Katharina von Bora – scandalised the world by marrying the revolutionary former monk. Following a near miscarriage, she is confined to her bed to await the birth of their first child; during this time, she sets down her own story. Against a backdrop of 16th Century Europe this vivid account of Katharina von Bora’s early life brings to the spotlight this spirited and courageous woman.

 

Six StoriesSix Stories by Matt Wesolowski

One body. Six stories. Which one is true?

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who embarked on that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby.
2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure. In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame…
As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth.

 

A High Mortality of DovesA High Mortality of Doves by Kate Ellis

1919. The Derbyshire village of Wenfield is still reeling from four years of war. Just when the village has begun to regain its tranquillity, a young girl, Myrtle Bligh, is found stabbed and left in woodland, her mouth slit to accommodate a dead dove – a bird of peace.

When two more women are found murdered in identical circumstances, Wenfield is thrown into a panic.

With rumours of a ghostly soldier with a painted face being spotted near the scene of the murders, Inspector Albert Lincoln is sent up from London to crack the terrible case – but with the killer still on the loose, who will be the next to die at the hands of this vicious angel of death?

 

Whiteout (Dark Iceland Book 5)White Out by Ragnar Jonasson

Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop?
With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place.
Dark, chilling and complex, Whiteout is a haunting, atmospheric and stunningly plotted thriller from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.

 

The Only Way Is WestThe Only Way is West by Bradley Chermside

You’re in Greece and are given a €20 note with an email address scribbled on it. What would you do:
1. Spend it?
2. Slip the suspect counterfeit bill into an enemy’s birthday card?
3. Send an email, hoping it will lead to you finding everlasting love?
Brad, a hopeless romantic, chose the latter.

Two years later, his love life remains a disaster and his career is misfiring. As he’s about to walk Spain’s fabled Camino de Santiago to ponder some profound life changes, Brad receives a reply. Incredibly, it’s from a woman who lives on the 1000-year-old pilgrim path, far away from where the money first crossed his palm. She invites him to sleep… ‘on her house’.

Hiking nine hundred kilometres on the Road to Santiago to a blind date with the mystery €20 woman, he discovers the utopia of his fantasies, befriends a Hungarian who speaks English in song titles and has his raison d’être revealed to him by a barefoot Mayan mystic. Will he meet his happily-ever-after too?

 

The SilenceThe Silence by Katharine Johnson

Doctor Abby Fenton has a rewarding career, a loving family, an enviable lifestyle – and a secret that could destroy everything.

When human remains are discovered in the grounds of an idyllic Tuscan holiday home she is forced to confront the memories she has suppressed until now and relive the summer she spent at the villa in 1992. A summer that ended in tragedy. The nearer she gets to the truth the closer she comes to losing her sanity.

In order to hold onto the people she loves most, she must make sure they never discover what she did. But the reappearance of someone else from that summer threatens to blow her secret wide open.

 

The Man Who DiedThe Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen

A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists.
With a nod to Fargo and the best elements of the Scandinavian noir tradition, The Man Who Died is a page-turning thriller brimming with the blackest comedy surrounding life and death, and love and betrayal, marking a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir.

 

Costa del ChurrosCosta del Churros by Isabella May

The rain in Spain doesn’t mainly fall on the plain…

Brits abroad Belinda, Julia, Laura and Georgina need more than the sweetness of churros with chocolate dipping sauce to save them from their unsavoury states of affairs.

Cue Carmen Maria Abril de la Fuente Ferrera, the town’s flamboyant flamenco teacher! But can she really be the answer to their prayers?

One thing’s for sure: the Costa del Sol will never be the same again.

 

Cassandra's SecretCassandra’s Secret by Frances Garrood

1960s England

Cassandra Fitzpatrick’s family isn’t quite like everybody else’s: her house is always full to bursting with the various misfits her mother houses as lodgers.

The creative and chaotic household is all she has ever known and loved, until something awful happens that changes everything.

Cass loves her mother deeply, but, as she gets older, she becomes more and more aware of her flaws.

Will Cass have to distance herself from her family to find happiness? Or is she destined to follow in her mother’s footsteps?

As Cass reflects on her memories, she must lay the ghosts of the past to rest and make peace with the secrets that have haunted her adult life

 

Betray Her 1Betray Her by Caroline England

Best friends forever.

That’s the pact you made.

You’d do anything for her.

And you have.

She’s always had it all.

If you could take it for yourself . . . would you?

 

This Is How It EndsThis is How it Ends by Eva Dolan

This is how it begins.

With a near-empty building, the inhabitants forced out of their homes by property developers.

With two women: idealistic, impassioned blogger Ella and seasoned campaigner, Molly.

With a body hidden in a lift shaft.

But how will it end?

 

City Of Shadows 1City of Shadows M J Lee

A family has been found murdered in the heart of 1920s Shanghai. But what could have compelled them to open the door to their killer?

Inspector Danilov has always taken a unique approach to solving his cases. So, when he’s asked to investigate the violent death of a fellow police officer, killed in action, he doesn’t think twice about turning his attention to a different case altogether: the brutal murder of the Lee family, found massacred in their own home.

How could the deaths of an ordinary family account for a shooting halfway across the city? And what clues lie with the letter found clasped in the dead girl’s hand? Inspector Danilov’s instincts tell him he’s close. But when the investigation reveals deep corruption at Shanghai’s core, Danilov faces a choice: probe further, and expose the evil underbelly of the city? Or shy from duty…and keep the few people he loves safe?

 

OverkillOverkill by Vanda Symon

When the body of a young mother is found washed up on the banks of the Mataura River, a small rural community is rocked by her tragic suicide. But all is not what it seems.

Sam Shephard, sole-charge police constable in Mataura, soon discovers the death was no suicide and has to face the realisation that there is a killer in town. To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover. When Sam finds herself on the list of suspects and suspended from duty, she must cast aside her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands.

To find the murderer … and clear her name.

 

House of GoldHouse of Gold by Natasha Solomons

The start of a war. The end of a dynasty.

VIENNA, 1911. Greta Goldbaum has always dreamed of being free to choose her own life’s path, but the Goldbaum family, one of the wealthiest in the world, has different expectations. United across Europe, Goldbaum men are bankers, while Goldbaum women marry Goldbaum men to produce Goldbaum children.

So when Greta is sent to England to marry Albert, a distant cousin she has never met, the two form an instant dislike for one another. Defiant and lonely, Greta longs for a connection and a place to call her own. When Albert’s mother gives Greta a garden, things begin to change.

But just as she begins to taste an unexpected happiness, the Great War breaks out, threatening to tear everything away. For the first time in two hundred years, the family will find themselves on opposing sides. How will Greta choose between the family she’s created and the one she was forced to leave behind?

 

The House on Rosebank LaneThe House of Rosebank Lane by Millie Gray

Edinburgh, 1953.

Kirsten Mowat, eighteen years old and with a joyful spring in her step, could’t be more in love with her sea-faring sweetheart Duncan Armstrong.

But, seven years later – after a hasty wedding, a twist of lies and wrenching loss – Duncan and Kirsten’s relationship has faded to tatters. When those closest to her turn their backs, Kirsten – alone, with a young family to care for – must gather all her spirit and strength if they are to survive.

From much-loved Millie Gray, The House on Rosebank Lane is an Edinburgh story of families entwined, of sorrow and hopefulness . . . and of a young mother’s love for her children and a transforming quest for happiness.

 

The FeudThe Feud by Amanda James

When secrets run deep, revenge will surface…

Matthew Trevelyar leaves his job in London to return to his Cornish roots in the village of St Agnes. After losing his wife to leukaemia, he wants to make a fresh start.

His new life is going well until Matt returns to his cottage to discover a grim warning on his doorstop. The message is clear – Leave now and go back to London.

Not wanting to give up his new life, Matt eventually discovers that there has been a 200-year-old feud between his family, the Trevelyars, and another local family, the Penhallows.

When Matt learns that one of his ancestors burned down a barn belonging to the Penhallows, and that there were tragic consequences, he understands why his family name is mud. But why is Matt paying for the sins of his ancestors now? And is there more to the feud than meets the eye?

 

All This I Will Give to YouAll This I Will Give to You by Dolores Redondo

When novelist Manuel Ortigosa learns that his husband, Álvaro, has been killed in a car crash, it comes as a devastating shock. It won’t be the last. He’s now arrived in Galicia. It’s where Álvaro died. It’s where the case has already been quickly closed as a tragic accident. It’s also where Álvaro hid his secrets.

The man to whom Manuel was married for fifteen years was not the unassuming man he knew.

Álvaro’s trail leads Manuel deep into one of Spain’s most powerful and guarded families. Behind the walls of their forbidding estate, Manuel is nothing but an unwelcome and dangerous intruder. Then he finds two allies: a stubbornly suspicious police lieutenant and Álvaro’s old friend—and private confessor—from seminary school. Together they’re collecting the pieces of Álvaro’s past, his double life, and his mysterious death.

But in the shadows of nobility and privilege, Manuel is about to unravel a web of corruption and deception that could be as fatal a trap for him as it was for the man he loved.

 

The Great PassageThe Great Passage by Shion Miura

Kohei Araki believes that a dictionary is a boat to carry us across the sea of words. But after thirty-seven years of creating dictionaries, it’s time for him to retire and find his replacement.

He discovers a kindred spirit in Mitsuya Majime—a young, disheveled square peg with a penchant for collecting antiquarian books and a background in linguistics—whom he swipes from his company’s sales department.

Along with an energetic, if reluctant, new recruit and an elder linguistics scholar, Majime is tasked with a career-defining accomplishment: completing The Great Passage, a comprehensive 2,900-page tome of the Japanese language. On his journey, Majime discovers friendship, romance, and an incredible dedication to his work, inspired by the words that connect us all.

 

The Murmur of BeesThe Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia

From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own. As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gifted child closes his eyes, he can see what no one else can—visions of all that’s yet to come, both beautiful and dangerous. Followed by his protective swarm of bees and living to deliver his adoptive family from threats—both human and those of nature—Simonopio’s purpose in Linares will, in time, be divined.

Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, The Murmur of Bees captures both the fate of a country in flux and the destiny of one family that has put their love, faith, and future in the unbelievable.

 

An American PrincessAn American Princess by Annejet van der Zijl

Born to a pioneering family in Upstate New York in the late 1800s, Allene Tew was beautiful, impetuous, and frustrated by the confines of her small hometown. At eighteen, she met Tod Hostetter at a local dance, having no idea that the mercurial charmer she would impulsively wed was heir to one of the wealthiest families in America. But when he died twelve years later, Allene packed her bags for New York City. Never once did she look back.

From the vantage point of the American upper class, Allene embodied the tumultuous Gilded Age. Over the course of four more marriages, she weathered personal tragedies during World War I and the catastrophic financial reversals of the crash of 1929. From the castles and châteaus of Europe, she witnessed the Russian Revolution and became a princess. And from the hopes of a young girl from Jamestown, New York, Allene Tew would become the epitome of both a pursuer and survivor of the American Dream.

 

About the NightAbout the Night by Anat Talshir

On a hot summer day in 1947, on a grandstand overlooking Jerusalem, Elias and Lila fall deeply, irrevocably in love.

Tragically, they come from two different worlds. Elias is a Christian Arab living on the eastern side of the newly divided city, and Lila is a Jew living on the western side. A growing conflict between their cultures casts a heavy shadow over the region and their burgeoning relationship. Between them lie not only a wall of stone and barbed wire but also the bitter enmity of two nations at war.

Told in the voice of Elias as he looks back upon the long years of his life, About the Night is a timely story of how hope can nourish us, loss can devastate us, and love can carry us beyond the boundaries that hold human beings apart.

 

The House by the RiverThe House by the River by Lena Manta

Theodora knows she can’t keep her five beautiful daughters at home forever—they’re too curious, too free spirited, too like their late father. And so, before each girl leaves the small house on the riverside at the foot of Mount Olympus, Theodora makes sure they know they are always welcome to return.

Having survived World War II, the Nazi occupation of Greece, and her husband’s death, Theodora now endures the twenty-year-long silence of her daughters’ absence. Her children have their own lives—they’ve married, traveled the world, and courted romance, fame, and even tragedy. But as they become modern, independent women in pursuit of their dreams, Theodora knows they need her—and each other—more than ever. Have they grown so far apart that they’ve forgotten their childhood home, or will their broken hearts finally lead them back again?

 

Still WatersStill Waters by Viveca Sten

On a hot July morning on Sweden’s idyllic vacation island of Sandhamn, a man takes his dog for a walk and makes a gruesome discovery: a body, tangled in fishing net, has washed ashore.

Police detective Thomas Andreasson is the first to arrive on the scene. Before long, he has identified the deceased as Krister Berggren, a bachelor from the mainland who has been missing for months. All signs point to an accident—until another brutalized corpse is found at the local bed-and-breakfast. But this time it is Berggren’s cousin, whom Thomas interviewed in Stockholm just days before.

As the island’s residents reel from the news, Thomas turns to his childhood friend, local lawyer Nora Linde. Together, they attempt to unravel the riddles left behind by these two mysterious outsiders—while trying to make sense of the difficult twists their own lives have taken since the shared summer days of their youth.

 

Deep Dirty TruthDeep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb

Single-mother bounty-hunter Lori Anderson finally has her family back together, but her new-found happiness is shattered when she’s snatched by the Miami Mob – and they want her dead. Rather than a bullet, they offer her a job: find the Mob’s ‘numbers man’ who’s in protective custody after being forced to turn federal witness against them. If Lori succeeds, they’ll wipe the slate clean and the price on her head – and those of her family – will be removed. If she fails, they die.

With North due in court in 48 hours, Lori sets off across Florida, racing against the clock to find him and save her family. Only in this race the prize is more deadly – and the secret she shares with JT more dangerous – than she ever could have imagined.

In this race only the winner gets out alive…

 

The Evidence Against YouThe Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister

Can you trust your father, when they say he killed your mother?

17 years after being convicted of murder, Izzy’s father is finally released from prison.

She wants nothing to do with him – but he claims to be innocent.

She’s always believed he killed her mother, but now doubts are creeping in.

Because if he’s telling the truth, then someone else has been lying all this time . . . 

 

Fingers in the Sparkle JarFingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham

Every minute was magical, every single thing it did was fascinating and everything it didn’t do was equally wondrous, and to be sat there, with a Kestrel, a real live Kestrel, my own real live Kestrel on my wrist! I felt like I’d climbed through a hole in heaven’s fence.

An introverted, unusual young boy, isolated by his obsessions and a loner at school, Chris Packham only felt at ease in the fields and woods around his suburban home. But when he stole a young Kestrel from its nest, he was about to embark on a friendship that would teach him what it meant to love, and that would change him forever. In his rich, lyrical and emotionally exposing memoir, Chris brings to life his childhood in the 70s, from his bedroom bursting with fox skulls, birds’ eggs and sweaty jam jars, to his feral adventures. But pervading his story is the search for freedom, meaning and acceptance in a world that didn’t understand him.

 

The Cazalet ChroniclesThe Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard

The 5 book series I first read years ago and loved.

The first on the series Light Years was published in 1990 and opens in 1937. The series follows the family over a 20 year period

 

 

King's BedThe King’s Bed by Margaret Campbell Barnes

For seventeen-year-old Tansy Marsh, life centres upon her father’s inn, The White Boar, in Leicester.

Richard III sits upon the throne of England, and all seems well.

But the threat of the would-be usurper, Henry Tudor, looms like a gathering storm. And soon the eye of that storm is uncomfortably close to Tansy, disrupting her reassuringly ordinary life.

Once King Richard is defeated, that life becomes even less ordinary.

For Tansy has met Dickon Broome, the man who will change her existence forever.

And while life goes on under the Tudor, Dickon has particular reason to bear a grudge.

Meanwhile in Leicester, Tansy’s beloved father dies, and she is left at the mercy of her self-absorbed, self-interested stepmother.

Until her stepmother also dies, in a most horrible way, and Tansy finds herself terrifyingly close to the centre of that drama.

It soon becomes clear that there is nothing more for Tansy in her childhood home. She travels to London, to Dickon, and to a future that will be marked by some of the most noted events in England’s history.

For Dickon, Broome is not quite all that he seems, and the quality that sets him apart forces him to take some difficult decisions; decisions that affect Tansy as much as himself.

While the couple seems happy, Dickon’s secret has the power to destroy them. Will he allow that to happen, or will he come to terms with some of the nation’s most famous historic events, and live out a quiet and happy life with his beloved Tansy?

Only one man can decide.

 

Material RemainsMaterial Remains by Richard Bray (this month’s Unbound Reading Club choice)

One Thursday morning a body is found on the beach of St Andrews. Suddenly archeology student Mike MacEwan’s world of tea, pints, late mornings and the occasional essay comes to an abrupt halt. Consumed with guilt, grief, confusion and thoughts of what might have been, Mike haunts the local ruins, rebuilding them in his mind, trying to find the shape of what is no longer there, as he obsesses over the loss of someone he barely knew, unsure of his place in her life, or her death.

It’s only the discovery of an ancient plague burial site near campus that drags Mike back into contact with those around him. But life has changed, both for himself and others, and the burial ground holds more than the bones of those long dead. Unsure what he will find, Mike peels back the layers of earth and its dark history, trying desperately to connect the victims of the past to the tumult of his present.

 

Physical Book Purchases

 

Bright Sari in a Darkened StreetBright Sari in a Darkened Street by Ian M Emberson

Aspiring artist Miles lives with his family in a small village above an industrial town in West Yorkshire. After his first
encounter with the spirited and enchanting Kavita, a Hindu and the sister of one of his school friends, he is drawn into a relationship that must cross not only physical but cultural divides. Can he and Kavita find a future together – or will the challenges they face result in tragedy?

This intensely moving coming-of-age story will resonate with anyone who can remember the intensity and passion
of first love.

 

Rain Falling on Tamarind TreesRain Falling on Tamarind Trees by C L Hoang

Have you ever wondered what Vietnam is like some forty years after the war has ended? Then come along with the author as he returns to visit his ancestral homeland for the first time after a decades-long absence.

Retrace his steps with him around his former hometown of Saigon in the south, and then follow him along on an itinerary of discovery to other unique destinations throughout the country: Hoi-An, the best-preserved medieval seaport in Southeast Asia; Hue, the ancient capital of imperial Vietnam, on the central coast; Halong Bay, a world-renowned natural wonder; and Hanoi, the country’s thousand-year-old capital, in the north.

Filled with historical and cultural tidbits and personal reminiscences, and illustrated with over forty photographs, Rain Falling on Tamarind Trees offers the reader an insightful and fascinating glimpse of this tropical land.

 

liarLiar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen (This month’s Reading in Heels book selection)

If being old meant making up things so you wouldn’t be alone, then it really wasn’t very different from being seventeen

Nofar is just an average teenage girl – so average, she’s almost invisible. Serving customers ice cream all summer long, she is desperate for some kind of escape. One afternoon, a terrible lie slips from her tongue. And suddenly everyone wants to talk to her: the press, her schoolmates, and the boy upstairs – the only one who knows the truth.

Then Nofar meets Raymonde, an elderly woman whose best friend has just died. Raymonde keeps her friend alive the only way she knows how – by inhabiting her stories. But soon, Raymonde’s lies take on a life of their own.

 

How to Fall in Love AgainHow to Fall in Love Again by Amanda Prowse (published 2nd May – bought at author event)

Is it ever too late to find your soulmate?

From Amanda Prowse, queen of heartbreak fiction, comes a gorgeous story of finding love when you’ve given up hope.

Kitty Montrose isn’t sure she believes in true love anymore. When she was a little girl, she had dreamed of finding her soulmate. Someone to laugh with, cry with, and to share her twilight years. But it never happened. She has her gorgeous children and grandchildren, but her marriage was never the happily-ever-after love story she’d imagined.

Then Kitty bumps into Theo, an old flame. The timing was never right for them before. Could now be the time for Theo and Kitty to fall in love again?

 

Will You Remember MeWill You Remember Me? by Amanda Prowse

How do you say goodbye to your family for the last time?

Poppy Day is thirty-two and married to her childhood sweetheart. She’s a full-time mum of two gorgeous children and loves her homely little cottage in the countryside. It’s the life she aways wanted.

But Poppy is so busy caring for others she hasn’t noticed how tired she is, or the menacing lump growing on her breast. It’s unthinkable that cancer could defeat such a strong and amazing woman. But life doesn’t always give you what you deserve…

 

Are you still here? If so, well done and hope you’ve not been tempted too much. I never make apologies for buying as it makes me happy (even though I know I’ll never read them all). So I’ve had a very happy month!!

 

 

 

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